Short on planning, long on results 

I don’t consider myself a spontaneous person. Practicality, inhibitions and reserve hold me back. Sometimes, though, spontaneity is simply following your heart and it all works out. The wedding of Darcy and I is one such example.

After we got engaged in April of 1998, our plan was to wait until the summer of 1999 to get married, so I could get another year of graduate school done and consider job possibilities.

Things had already been happening fast, and it seemed sensible to take our time planning a wedding and getting to know one another better. Though neither of us doubted our intentions.

The idea of commuting on weekends started to fully sink in. Being in love and being two hours apart wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted to begin our lives together sooner rather than later. I started checking out job openings in the Sioux Falls area. Darcy had recently been promoted and hoped to stay at his job. I was already phasing out of teaching and it would be a good time to see what was out there for counseling jobs.

By late July, I had had a couple interviews and some possibilities. Things fell into place with a job as an elementary school counselor with Sioux Falls Catholic Schools. And then we had the conversation that Darcy said had been waiting to happen. Why wait to get married? Indeed, why wait?

We had that discussion on a Monday night and were married that same week, on a beautiful Thursday evening.

This is what I wrote in my journal on July 29, 1998: “Wow! What a week it has been! Darcy and I are getting married tomorrow evening at 8:30 at Upper Tuthill Park. We discussed it Monday, decided to go for it Tues. –and here I am on the eve of my wedding.”

What a whirlwind! We got word out to family and a few friends. We went and applied for our marriage license, got the location chosen, lined up a justice of the peace to perform the official duties, and made plans for a little celebration back at what was still just Darcy’s place. Thanks to family and friends who went out of their way to help us get things together and who also added their personal touch. Things went as well as we could have hoped, and there was far more excitement than stress.

Oh, and I also gave notice to my employer and my landlord. I started packing up. I spent Wednesday in my classroom, whittling down 10 years of teaching materials into a couple of totes.That gave new meaning to purging.

I had already ordered a wedding dress but it wasn’t ready, so I found a dress off the rack at Sears. Others may refuse to get married in a $30 dress. I was proud of mine.

I wore a t-shirt to get my hair done Thursday afternoon, and decided to cut the shirt down the middle rather than risk harming my updo. That shirt is in our wedding tote, along with other mementos from our wedding day and the reception we had back in my hometown over Thanksgiving later that year.

Mementos are cherished, but the memories I hold most dear are the family and friends who were able to join us on that gorgeous evening of July 30, 1998. The weather was all we could ask for. My parents walked me down “the aisle” to the gazebo where Darcy waited, along with our witnesses, my sister Zita and his friend Brett.

I treasured that walk with my parents that evening, not knowing it would be one of the last times I would see my dad. He died suddenly on October 23.

We enjoyed the traditional carrying of the bride across the threshold of our home and cake in each other’s faces as we enjoyed a post-wedding celebration after a brief ceremony.

Things fell into place that week. An event short on planning has been long on results. When something is meant to be, it just seems to unfold as it should.

A photo from that evening shows Darcy and I exchanging rings. The love those rings symbolize remains strong.


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